Independent candidates set up a new J&K party
7 October 2002
The Asian Age
Doda: Fifteen independents contesting the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections have set up a new political group that would strive for peaceful resolution of the problem in the Himalayan state. However, the immediate objective of the new outfit, which will be called Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Peoplesí Forum, is to prevent the Farooq Abdullah-led National Conference from returning to power. Mr Gulam Qadir Mir, a former state minister, who is contesting on Kupwara seat and six other independents said at a joint press conference in Srinagar on Monday that if elected the members of the new front would extend their support to a political party that would promise it to probe what he called were the wrongdoings and other corrupt practices of chief minister Farooq Abdullah and his ministers and other functionaries of the National Conference government. The other independents who attended the press conference are Sofi Gulam Mohiuddin, Abdur Rashid Mirjal and Abdul Haq Khan, the proxy candidates of Hurriyat Conference constituent the Peoplesí Conference, Hakim Muhammad Yasin, Faqir Muhammad Khan and Fateh Muhammad. Mr Mir claimed that in all 15 independents from the Valley and Jammu have already joined the new outfit. Replying questions, he said that the elections held to elect a new government could not provide an answer to the question of Kashmir. Reacting to the separatists call for the poll boycott, Mr Mir asked when the elections in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir are not disturbed, why should the militants do it on the Indian side of the state.